You receive "Undeliverable Mail", "Virus in your email" , or a copy of email you didn't send

What you receive

You receive an error message about mail you sent being undeliverable or a copy of a Spam email addressed from you, even though you have never sent any such email.

Or you might have an email indicating that a "Virus found in your mail" and that your email message has been blocked. You didn't send the message the warning refers to, and your anti-virus program doesn't find any viruses on your computer.

What happened?

In the above instances, it is likely that the original message had a forged email address as the sender. It's very easy to forge the sender information of an email message, and many viruses and spammers do this. Emails and viruses are sent with forged addresses that have nothing to do with the actual senders.  When the emails are bounced back to the sender address by an ISP's spam or anti-virus programs, the bounced or undeliverable mail message goes to the forgery "victim".

An email with a forged sender address has nothing to do with the victim's computer or email. Forging an email address in no way implies that the forger might be able to read his victim's email.

Why would anyone forge my email address?

Viruses forge email addresses in order to fool recipients into opening the messages and further spreading the virus. Spammers use forged email addresses in an attempt to bypass spam programs.

How did they get my address?

Usually viruses get the addresses of both the sender and the recipient from the address book of an infected computer. Spammers use programs that contain many possible character strings in every mail domain as email addresses.

What can I do about this?

There's not much you can do about someone forging your email address.  It is possible to trace an email message to its origin even if it's sent using a forged address.  If you review all the header information on the email, you can find the originating ISP and send a complaint.  Again, just because your email address has been forged does not mean that the forger can access your email.

You can also report the email to the FTC.  Send a copy of unwanted or deceptive messages to

If you receive a message about a virus contained in your email, scan your computer for viruses just to be sure. Usually information about your computer being infected comes from your own system.  TQCI uses virus blocking software on our mail server that scans all incoming and outgoing emails.


More questions? Please email Tech Support